Inside the ancient Cortile dei Bagni courtyard, architect Filippo Taidelli of FTA studio stages a vision of the future in the relationship between man, architecture, technology and nature in the hospital of tomorrow. Cells will be on display at the University of Milan (Università degli Studi di Milano) from 16 to 28 April during the Interni Fuorisalone 2018 event for the Interni House in Motion 2018 – 20 Years exhibition.
The work aims to metaphorically synthesize the effects of the evolution of the world of healthcare and make them perceptible through an installation that immerses the visitor in a sensory experience. The installation is set in one of the most spectacular and most visited locations of Milan Design Week. The structure is located in the Cortile dei Bagni courtyard, one of the most evocative places of the General Hospital founded in 1456, with a double order of porticoes and all the rigorous symmetry of Renaissance design principles.
The installation consists of two glass structures or “cells” of equal size but with antithetical formal characteristics, which establish a visual dialogue by placing themselves at opposite corners of the courtyard. They represent the two complementary and apparently antithetical spirits of the healthcare of the future: on the one hand, the focus of interior design on transforming the hospital into a domestic space, on the other hand, the advent of the “virtual healthcare”, the redefinition of the man-machine interface and consequent “dehospitalization”.
The common denominator of each cell is the visitor’s barycentric position with respect to space: as if to underline how, in the healthcare of the future, the need to keep man at the centre is fundamental, despite the introduction of artificial intelligence systems, which will always be supports and not replacements. The first cell, transparent and extroverted, is designed to expand the relationship with the environment as a therapeutic element; the second, introverted and reflective, projects the visitor into the “virtual” world, an atmosphere of science fiction evoked by an artificial window that can reproduce the effect of sunlight even at night.
Inside the cells are placed two monolithic “shards” of stone-effect grès, which like the wings of a theatre stage offer points of view for contemplating in one case the context and in the other the artificially created natural light. In the transparent cell, the fragments assume the material, warm texture of monolithic travertine to evoke a domestic environment, in the virtual one the milk white floor and walls merge into a single alienating science fiction volume, cut only by the overhead light.
During the evening hours, the formal antithesis between the skin of the two cells (transparent/matt) weakens to leave room for a delicate visual dialogue between the wings that are illuminated inside, bringing harmony back between the two spirits and the courtyard. The visual experience is amplified by a sound and olfactory installation. In the virtual cell, a sound dialogue between an avatar and a human and a scent of incense evoke a place of futuristic meditation. In the other, the pungent smell of the Mediterranean maquis and the sound of domestic environments recall the outdoor life, the countryside and the land. Source and images Courtesy of Filippo Taidelli.